Kansas State University


Student Stories

Category: Professional Development

If my grandma wrote my resume

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding for people Grandma did not know. So naturally she crashed the reception to see me in my dress. I also snuck her some wedding cake.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding for people Grandma did not know. So naturally she crashed the reception to see me in my dress. I also snuck her some wedding cake.

Potential Employer: “Maria, I see you studied abroad in Costa Rica. Tell us more about that.”

Me: “Yeah, Costa Rica, wow. Great culture and food there. I… uh…”

When it comes to resumes and job interviews, we are often encouraged to rave about our strengths and accomplishments. We are told to use “power” verbs, and descriptive language that makes us look like the best person in the entire universe and only conceivable choice for the position. Continue reading “If my grandma wrote my resume”

Nonprofit Connect Shadow Day

IMG_1266This past Friday, I woke up at an unholy hour and drove to Kansas City to Nonprofit Connect’s Shadow Day, an event that K-State Career and Employment Services recommended to me. At Shadow Day, college students are matched with professionals in the nonprofit field to shadow them at their jobs.  Continue reading “Nonprofit Connect Shadow Day”

Keepin’ Campus Nice

A constant struggle with college students everywhere is a lack of funds. My first few weeks after living in Manhattan I realized some serious fiscal responsibility was needed. Shout out to my middle school home economics teachers that told me I would be using budgets some day! It quickly became apparent that I would need a part time job. But already taking fifteen credits, participating in campus organizations, volunteering, and having a job? Let the exhaustion (and fun) begin.

First I searched the KSU job database with all opportunities for students to find work both off and on campus. While my job history is a long one, I have always been in a specific field of work – landscaping. One phone call and a quick interview was all it took before I was hard at work for the Housing & Dining grounds crew! I work with people who are very well educated in their respective fields and it has been a blast getting to know them as well as learn the ways of planting, pruning, and everything related.

Cleaning out the pond at Jardine. Took a full day, only fell once!









1427909484881 Pruning at Smurthwaite!
Cleaning flower beds at a new addition to our department, Brockman House.

The Power of a K-State Alumnus

Over the past few weeks, there were three distinct events that were extremely significant to me, and they all happened because of former K-Staters who wake up every morning prouder than the day before of the University they went to.

Beautiful View of Horsetooth Mountain - Fort Collins, CO
Beautiful View of Horsetooth Mountain – Fort Collins, CO

Continue reading “The Power of a K-State Alumnus”

School, Work, Sleep, Repeat

Every high school student wants to know what it is like to be a college student.

Well, most college students aren’t just students, they also have jobs.

Working in college makes sense. College students are usually not independently wealthy, and the income is welcomed. However, work, school, clubs, friends, and other commitments create an incredible circus juggling sideshow act that is quite tricky to maintain.

I work as a telecounselor in New Student Services, and also as a staff writer at our campus newspaper, The Collegian. It is recommended not to work more than 15 hours per week in college, and I usually work around 11 total.

I really like my jobs. The hours are flexible, and the people are incredibly nice and fun to work with. I enjoy talking with students and sharing my K-State experience with them.

Honestly, working and being in college is challenging at times. Some days I leave at 9:00 a.m., pack a lunch and a supper, and then I am not home until 9:00 p.m. or later. If I have a lot of homework, I have no option but to stay up late and get it done. The time management aspect is not easy. It took me about a month into my job to figure out how to balance school, work, clubs, and other obligations. Here are some tips to balance school and work:

Sleep You may feel like you don’t have time to get a solid 8 hours of sleep, but it will make your awake time much happier and more productive if you are well-rested. Naps are also a great pick me up!

Say No If you feel overwhelmed, feel free to decline when friends ask you to hang out or other things spring up. Take time for yourself. You can’t take care of anything else if you aren’t taken care of first.

Exercise Like sleep, you may convince yourself that you don’t have time to exercise. Don’t believe it. You will feel so much better if you work out at least 3 times a week!

Work hard and stay rested Wildcats,


Summer Plans…Wait, What?!

Hi guys!

So November has begun and that means that it’s time to start thinking about summer plans! Sounds crazy, right? But now really is the best time to start thinking about how you want to spend your summer. Summer is a great time to intern, study abroad, or just work to save up some money. Or maybe you’d like to take a class so that you can have a lighter load during the year. I spent one summer at home working to save money, and another summer in Manhattan doing research with a faculty member.  It’s really up to you and what your goals are, but whatever it is that you choose to do, now is the time to start thinking about it. This is especially true if you plan on applying for some sort of funding. Many competitive summer scholarships and internships have early due dates.

K-State has tons of resources to help you though this process so don’t get overwhelmed! I’d recommend starting off with a discussion with your parents, family or other mentors in your life can really help you start deciding what you might like to do during the summer.  If you plan on studying abroad then the Study Abroad Office is the best place to go. Your advisor or your professors are great resources, especially if you want to be involved in something related to your major during the summer.  And don’t be afraid to ask your classmates about their summer plans, especially if they are an upperclassman! They have already been through the process and can offer advice on summer plans and resources like funding, scholarships, or internships.

Again, it’s really up to you how you spend your summer, but this is the time to start thinking about it. K-State is committed to helping you succeed so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for advice!

K-State Proud,


5 Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

If you haven’t heard of LinkedIn I suggest you look it up. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site used by over 300 million students, employers, and professionals as a way to connect.

In his Keynote address yesterday, October 1, Tim Lee, a Sales System Project Manager at LinkedIn, spoke about the importance of personal branding and the impact LinkedIn can have when searching for a job and career saying that it is “creating an asset by defining an individual’s…online presence.”

Along with his stress of the benefits of creating a LinkedIn profile, Lee also gave five tips to making yours the best it can be.

1) Choose your photo wisely. Lee demonstrated this advice by comparing his LinkedIn profile picture and his Facebook profile picture; on LinkedIn Lee is represented by a photo of him next to his company’s logo signifying his dedication and love for his workplace. On Facebook he portrays himself as a family man by setting his profile picture to one of him and his children. This is important. Recruiters will see your name and photo before anything else and based on them can move on to the next applicant or choose you.

2) Make your headline stand out. Oh, you’re a student? Ok! What else? Make your headline and summary highlight your passions. “Passionate about developing systems to aid corporations’ organization”, “Passionate about corporate research abroad”, “Passionate about finding an extinct bird.” Whatever it may be, make it pop.

3) Show off your experience. According to Tim Lee, this is your best bet. List extra curriculars, volunteer experience, part-time and full-time jobs, internships…anything that can put you above the rest; list it. BUT .. I will say this piece of advice with this caution; be able to talk for a minimum of five minutes about anything you list, if you can’t do that you can’t tell an employer why it makes you more applicable for a job.

4) Develop your network. “Connect with people you know.” LinkedIn is made for connecting professionally…so do it. Having a relationship prior to applying to an internship or job, getting your name out there, and allowing a potential employer follow your progress can make all the difference in the world.

5) Attach (Good) Recommendations. Having references on your profile shows three things; 1) You’re not afraid of potential employers contacting them, 2) You kept a good relationship with a past employer and 3) “that you were able to keep a job there and did a good job.”

Now go out, set yourself up for success and get “LinkedIn” at linkedin.com.


Career Fair Aftermath

Did anyone notice all those people dressed up in suits last week, with nervous looks on their faces whenever you saw them?  In case anyone was curious and never figured it out – no, it wasn’t “K-State dress up day”… Everyone was trying to look their best for the annual two day career fair.

The career fair is a great opportunity for students of all ages to meet recruiters from companies from all around the US.  It is a fantastic time for younger students to get a professional experience, make sure their resume is perfected, and learn how to talk and act around future employers.  Many students land next day interviews, which often lead into summer internships and maybe even future full time jobs.

For those of you who went: I hope it went great, and that you made some awesome connections for future employment.  I believe anyone should attend the fair to get the experience in, whether you are a freshman, senior, or anyone in between.  Often times employers may not be looking for a freshman as an intern, but you can certainly plant some seeds for future opportunities with them.  The more that you “water those seeds” (keep making contact with the employers you want to work for), the greater chance you have of landing the job you want.

For those of you who didn’t go: Don’t worry.  Attending the career fair is a great way to get ahead of the game and make connections, but it does not mean that you will be jobless this summer.  Let it serve as a wake up call that NOW is the time to start looking for companies you may be interested in working for.  Most people wait for the spring to start searching, but the fall is when a lot of the highest ranked companies start looking for the highest qualified candidates.  One option that you can still do if you missed the career fair is to go to the Career and Employment Services website and look at the list of all the companies who attended the fair, and look at what majors they are interested in.  Find the companies that interest you and go to their website career page and submit your resume. (Remember, every Wednesday is Walk in Wednesday at Holtz Hall, allowing you to go in and get your resume critiqued).  If there is a name of the recruiter for K-State, follow up with an email telling them how interested you are on getting more information on the company.  You will be surprised at how many more opportunities there are just by doing the little things and making connections. Do not be discouraged about missing the career fair, just work harder now to make up for any connections you may have missed out on!

Internships are a GREAT way to make your resume stand out above other applicants, and help you gain experience in your professional field.  A good internship will tell you whether or not this is really the career path you want to pursue!  Start looking for your ideal job today, and that advanced planning will pay off come this summer!

Go cats!